Vision Organizes Whole-Body Movement

October 26: Today, the last day the Creative Vision course, participants explored using the balances with one another, applying the activities for such daily-life skills as to see and hear at the same time and to distinguish the diverse visual elements of color, form, shape, and contrasts. The Brain Gym® and Vision Gym® activities, as well as other menu items provided a spirit of play and synchrony. I find that setting goals and doing the balances and activities provides balance and restoration for me, as well. Many of the students had immediate vision improvements, and three people discarded their reading glasses as no longer necessary.

© 2012 by Paul E. Dennison. All Rights Reserved.

Brain Gym®  is a trademark of Brain Gym®  International. Click here for the name of an instructor in you area.

Whole-to-Parts Teaching Creates Active Learners

October 23: Today was my second day of teaching the Dennison Approach to Whole-Brain Learning to a group made up primarily of educators. I led the participants through simple ways to apply movement-based learning and whole-to-parts teaching in the classroom. These techniques are helpful for many aspects of the educational process, from connecting learners with their kinesthetic experience to helping them discover a love of language as they read. As my students experienced the reading, writing, and listening balances, they found for themselves the profound impact of movement on learning, and saw the possibilities for their own students.

© 2012 by Paul E. Dennison. All Rights Reserved.

 

Whole-Body Movement Provides an Inner Map

October 21: For the last three days I’ve been teaching the Optimal Brain Organization (OBO) course to 30 Brain Gym® Instructors, assisted by four Brain Gym® International faculty members: Carol Ann Erikson (United States), Kay McCarroll (United Kingdom), Jeanette Primost (Israel), and Renate Wennekes (Germany). I enjoy co-teaching with these four people who are all dear friends who’ve been on this learning-through- movement journey with Gail and me for 20 years or more.

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The OBO course we’re just completing is an especially important one for me. All too often, public school classroom experiences offer children little movement to offset the primarily one-sided (asymmetrical) activities learned for near-point work like reading and writing. The OBO course is based on my hypothesis that learners need symmetrical, two-sided movement to counterbalance this one-sided tendency; otherwise they learn at the expense of whole-body sensory awareness.

IKL_Paul-Dennison_Renate-Wennekes_HAP_Edu-Kinesthetics

A second thesis of the course is based on the many peer-reviewed research studies showing that learning doesn’t automatically transfer from one subject to another. I demonstrate to participants how to teach for transfer by drawing on their gifts and resources. During a balance for accessing gifts and resources, one young mother said that, until now, she had felt powerless to help her daughter with her learning challenges. This woman’s balance helped her to find the patience within herself that had sustained her when she, as a child, had overcome similar challenges.

© 2012 by Paul E. Dennison. All Rights Reserved.

Brain Gym®  is a trademark of Brain Gym®  International. Click here for the name of an instructor in you area.

Cultivating the Physical Aspects of Learning

October 16:For the last two days, I’ve been teaching the Master in Depth course, where I’m happy to see both old and new faces. There are 57 students, 17 of whom are attending from Italy, so we have two translators—Italian and Swiss German. Students began by refining their goals and starting to discover how the goals we set can relate to the way we move.

During the course, I facilitated reading balances for several people. The Edu-K balance, which Gail and I developed and call the Five Steps to Easy Learning, takes people through five quick and essential stages, each identified by particular actions that support the internalization of new learning. Since I see learning as an active process, one that isn’t complete until individuals make new learning their own, I look for the “aha!”s that are evident in people’s voice or demeanor as they read.

In one demonstration, the volunteer was a woman I’ll call Anja who had for her whole life been bothered by a functionally lazy left eye. When she initially read, her reading was linear and somewhat mechanical, reflecting a left-brain language lead, as is commonly the case for right-eye-only readers. Although the brain is more complex than this, I use this simplistic metaphor to help people identify the cognitive functions they commonly use as they read, as well as those they haven’t yet learned. I explained that the left hemisphere functions temporally (over time) and helps readers to decode and analyze new words, so helpful for learning new vocabulary. For fluent adult reading and instant word recognition, the more spatial right hemisphere, working together with the left, is essential. During the balance, Anja was thrilled to discover for the first time how to access eye teaming. As she learned to track her left eye together with the right, both her reading and her handwriting became noticeably fluent and expressive.

By day two, workshop participants had fine-tuned their use of the Edu-K balances not only to improve reading and writing skills, but also to enhance their own perceptual abilities. I love working with these enthusiastic people, and enjoy guiding them to see new possibilities by moving in new ways.

© 2012 by Paul E. Dennison. All Rights Reserved.

 

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